Workout of the Week: BodySPace
by Zoe Dickens
Our workout of the week series delves into the newest fitness trends, classes and technologies and explores the latest wellness movements to help you get ship shape for your next superyacht vacation. This week Zoe Dickens tries out a personal training sessions at BodySPace in Knightsbridge, London.
The basics: Having started life as a high-end private members gym offering a fully-rounded approach to health and wellbeing, BodySPace had recently expanded its offering to two new London sites: a residency at the Kingwood development in Knightsbridge and a BodySPace hotel within the ESPA Life space at Westminster’s Corinthia Hotel. The BodySPace method takes a scientific approach to fitness and uses a variety of techniques, from traditional personal training to reformer pilates, nutrition advice and even wellness vacations, to help clients achieve fitness and aesthetics goals.
What they say: BodySPace is the ground-breaking new fitness, nutrition and wellness offering from respected wellness revolutionaries Stephen Price and David Higgins that is bringing world class specialists and expertise across health, fitness, nutrition and technology to private residences, hotels and spas which were previously only available to professional athletes, private clients and Hollywood stars.
What’s it like: I meet BodySPace co-founder Stephen Price in the brand’s new space in the basement of the luxury Kingwood residential development in Knightsbridge. Far from your average gym, the suite feels more like a swanky private members club - it has a wine cellar and lounge with a pool table, is replete with interior design worthy of a five-star hotel and, importantly, wonderfully spacious changing facilities.
As well as the ‘lifestyle’ areas, the gym offers two training spaces each kitted out with high-spec Technogym equipment and, despite the huge amount of room and number of machines on offer, is only ever by used by one client at a time so you’re guaranteed complete privacy.
The BodySPace method takes a high-tech approach to fitness so, before we get down to any hard core working out, Price leads me to a small room resembling a treatment suite in a luxury spa and presents me with what look like a pair of thigh-high inflatable boots. These are, in fact, pulse recovery compression boots which work in a similar way to blood pressure monitors and, Price explains, have been used by elite athletes for years to wake up the nervous system and prepare the body before training and aid recovery, reduce injury and improve circulation post-workout. BodySPace is one of the few gyms offering them as part of regular training and Price combines a quick 10-minute programme with a breath monitoring device aimed at helping me acquire slow steady breaths which will increase stamina during the workout.
Next it’s in to the gym and, after a few quick stretches, I find myself on a Skillmill – a non-motorized concave treadmill that speeds up and slows down dependent on your gait. Brand new to me, it takes a little while to get used to the sensation but Price quickly has me doing a HIIT session involving bursts of sprinting followed by short periods of walking during which he puts strong emphasis on my posture and breathing to help me go faster for longer.
After the first set I’m exhausted and amazed to see I’ve been active for less than ten minutes. Price explains that working at your maximum for a short amount of time can actually be far more beneficial than extended periods of moderate exercise with many of his clients preferring to do two 30-minute sessions in one day than one longer class. After a few bodyweight exercises, it’s back on the Skillmill for another set of sprints before hitting the bench for some tricep dips by which time I’m utterly depleted and even keeping my breathing to the deep steady pace I’ve been working on feels difficult.
Relieved the workout portion of the session is over, it’s back into the treatment room for another session with the compression boots where Price tells me about some of the amazing wellness trips he’s organised for his clients – including a truly incredible tailored climb of Kilimanjaro. Price also explains that many of his clients book 11+ hours of training per week and, feeling as I do at that moment, I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly do that twice a day, every day. However, the compressions boots clearly worked their magic as, waking up the next day expecting stiff sore muscles, I felt absolutely fine – fine enough, even, to do it all over again.
Personal training with BodySPace is available at Kingwood, Knightsbridge and ESPA Life at the Corinthia Hotel with programme prices available on application. Visit body-space.co.uk.